"Jouissance" in French means enjoyment and pleasure, in particularly in an over-the-top sense. It contrasts with ‘plaisir’, which is a controlled state that happens within cultural norms. Jouissance is pleasure (and any stimulation) that can be too much to bear. It may be very largely felt as suffering. It is pleasure and pain together, a feeling of being at the edge. It can indicate a breaking of boundaries, a connection beyond the self. This can range from a mother feeling intense connection with a breast-feeding baby to meditative feelings of oneness with the universe.
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